Thursday's First Frosty Mug of 2009

And sadly, I don't have a joke to open with.

No Winter League Update today, as all four Carribean Leagues were off.

I'm actually glad the Brewers didn't spend what it would have taken to lure Brian Fuentes to Milwaukee. Fuentes reportedly gave the Angels a hometown discount and signed a two year deal. If that's the discount, we're probably talking three years, somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million to get him in a Brewer uniform. Meanwhile, The Official Site makes it sound like there is not mutual interest between the Brewers and Trevor Hoffman, so it appears the Brewers may be out of the "high priced closer" market.

The Brew Town Beat takes a look at the wild, somewhat lonely offseason for Ben Sheets, and wouldn't be surprised to see him back when Doug Melvin goes bargain shopping in January. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic wants Sheets in a Diamondbacks uniform ASAP.

Tiger Tales has started their annual project ranking fielders, and opened with first base. The numbers aren't pretty for Prince Fielder, rated as the third worst defensive 1B in all of baseball.

If you haven't yet, there's still a couple of hours left to vote for Brewer prospect #6. Jonathan Lucroy leads Lorenzo Cain by 47 votes. Voting for #7 will open at noon today.

How much stock does one put into Brewer predictions made by people they've never heard of? For me, it's not much, but still worth noting that Widgerson Library and Pub predicts the Brewers will go 80-82 in 2009.

Two former Brewers have new homes for the new year: First, we can all exhale, the Derrick Turnbow saga is finally over. Turnbow signed a minor league deal with the Rangers. Also, Claudio Vargas is a Dodger.

There's only two other hot stove notes from yesterday, and they're both Cub related: The Cubs signed Aaron Miles to a 2 year, $4.9 million deal, then turned around and traded Mark DeRosa to Cleveland for three pitching prospects.

This is perhaps the first time I've seen MLB's economic downturn quantified: Buster Olney reports non-Yankee free agent spending is down a quarter of a billion dollars this offseason. Of course, if Mark Teixiera had accepted the Nationals' offer, it'd be on about the same pace.

A quick thanks to Baseball Digest Daily for including BCB in their 2008 Baseball Web Sites of the Year. Hopefully we can keep it up and be back on that list in 2009.

Drink up.
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